During the process of moving to another country, many decisions and adaptations must take place, especially when there are kids in the family.
In this moment, in order to avoid hassles and problems, we cast here some useful tips about healthcare for expatriates when coming to Brazil.
We must remind you that it´s very likely for big differences to exist, between the birthplace and Brazil, concerning weather, culture and food. That´s why it´s so important to get to know your destination in habits and local characteristics.
Here are some general guidelines of Home Ped, a specialized team of pediatricians for those who are coming to Brazil for a longer stay:
- Search for indications of assistant doctors. Grown-ups need a general physician, women need a gynecologist and children need a pediatrician, on a regular basis. It´s fundamental to have a steady doctor, even for orientations in case of emergency. Search for references for the professionals and for those who, preferably, are able to speak your language, since it makes communication much easier, mainly in a circumstance of disease or specific doubts about your health.
- In case of children or adults with chronical diseases, it´s important to bring along a medical evaluation with a historical containing the most important information, as information about the disease, blood type, allergies and previous surgeries.
- Have a good health insurance! It´s not advisable to exclusively count on public hospitals and healthcare, due to the lack of conditions related to most of them. Check if your insurance has nationwide coverage and write down the closest emergencies and labs, to have them in hand if you need them.
- Vaccinate! There are vaccines in the National Program of Immunization in Brazil which are not included in other countries´ calendars, as BCG (for tuberculosis), yellow fever and meningococcal, for example. It´s mandatory to bring your vaccine card, duly filled, with dates and dosages of the previous vaccines.
- Eat healthy food and avoid food prepared in places with suspicious hygiene.
- Use insect repellent and other means of protection as mosquito nets, in doors and windows. Most of the country has recent cases of yellow fever, dengue fever, Zika and Chikungunya, which are transmitted by mosquitos, and might lead to severe consequences.
- Keep your hands clean frequently, by washing them with water and soap or by using alcohol gel. This simple action might help to avoid diseases as flu and gastroenteritis.
- Hydrate yourself! In most states of Brazil, the weather is hot almost all year long, and the heat might lead to dehydration, especially for kids and the elderly. Consider wearing hats, caps and sunglasses, besides sunscreen, in sunny days. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun in the times of radiation peak (between 10AM to 3PM) in the summer.
- Keep in mind that the water from the sink and shower is not proper for drinking, differently from most countries, mainly in Europe.
- Many expatriates enjoy trekking in the nature and forests. In such places, it´s important not to feed wild animals, or even getting much close to them, since they can be harmful and transmit diseases as rabies.
- Write down useful telephone numbers as SAMU (192), ANVISA (0800 642 9782), Intoxication help 24 hours (0800 722 6001).
Text produced by Home Ped team